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Harbor work nearing completion


Brian O’Connor

Contractors compacted soil Monday at the marine haul-out facility. The work is the last big construction project for the season, and leaves the maintenance area about 75 percent resurfaced. Harbor officials hope the resurfacing and the addition of a 300-ton hoist will allow the facility to expand its services and garner a bigger share of the blue economy for Wrangell.

Contractors were hard at work Monday closing out the last big construction project of the season at the marine haul-out facility.

Their tasks included installing rebar, over which concrete will eventually be poured to replace the gravel surface and create a smooth, even surface. The work will also eventually include the installation of a 300-ton hoist, effectively doubling the harbor’s lifting capacity. Officials say the hoist, which could feature as a central draw for fishing and pleasure craft in the Southeast Alaska region – part of what officials at this year’s Southeast Conference in Sitka label the “blue” or maritime economy — may be installed later in the year. Pamphlets produced by the conference prominently featured Wrangell as an example of progress on the maritime economy.

The resurfacing “is the last big project for us,” said harbormaster Greg Meissner.

The resurfacing isn’t yet finished, since the harbor has added about an acre of boat storage space in the form of filled-in land near the haul-out area and a few areas remain to be converted from gravel into concrete, Meissner said.

“We’re about 75 percent done,” he said. “I don’t know offhand how much exact square footage remains.”

In the coming weeks and months, harbor officials will estimate how much space remains, what needs to be resurfaced, and what the remaining cost will be, Meissner said. They will also estimate how much money remains available in State funds, and get as creative as the situation dictates, Meissner added.

“You never know,” he said. “We might have a few bake sales or get out and rattle our tin beggar’s cup.”


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